[Winter Greens with Fennel, Grapefruit and Beet is vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for Stage 2 and beyond on an anti-candida diet.]
There are just some things that get better with age. No, I don’t mean as they age (like a fine wine, or George Clooney); I mean things that are perceived as better once you age.
Take a pair of comfortable shoes, for example. I can well remember back in my 30s, buying the cutest-ever pair of pink patent leather (yes, you read that right: pink) T-strap pumps (sort of like these, except better looking). I got them to complement a pair of pink and mint green checked capri pants for an evening out with one of my male friends from university (on whom I had a major crush, unbeknownst to him–let’s just call him “MC”). In my 30-something world, it seemed imperative to wear something fetching, comfort be damned.
I donned the shoes, departed the university residence where I lived, and began my usual jaunt across Bloor Street from Yonge to Spadina to meet him. On a normal day, that walk would have taken about 12 minutes; that day, it took more than 20, and by the tail end, my feet were in agony: I shuffled painfully, enduring a sense of feet bound in Chinese slippers as my toes cramped and throbbed. I could practically feel the bunions developing on my big toes with each excruciating step.
Yet for some reason, I persisted and wore those shoes for the remainder of the evening, right up until the point when MC dumped me (crush entirely unrequited) to catch the subway at 1:30 AM. Needless to say, I never wore those shoes again.
These days? I opt for low heels (preferably rubber soles, thank you very much) and don’t even scoff at (gasp) Naturalizers if need be. In my (50-something) world, comfort always trumps vanity.
Then there’s music. I cringed at classical in my teens and into my twenties (in fact, enough to keep me away from certain locations), but now I live with someone who listens to classical every single night. When I was younger, I loathed having to witness romantic displays between my mom and dad when they celebrated birthdays or anniversaries. Nowadays, I crave just that from the HH.
Or, take food. When I was a kid, I detested all of the following: cheesecake (seriously), eggnog, beets, nuts (all kinds), coconut. All it took were a few decades (plus a plethora of dietary restrictions courtesy of candida) and–boom!–these days, I love all of those foods.
Another later-in-life culinary crush of mine is fennel. For years I avoided it, not quite appreciating the subtle licorice essence and crispy crunch of the sliced bulb. But it was just my palate that needed a few more years to mature. After trying it a few times since I started this blog, I’ve come to love it, too. In fact, I now think there’s nothing quite like thinly sliced fennel in a fresh salad, or even caramelized fennel in a veggie loaf. Today’s recipe contains a few other foods I’ve come to enjoy in recent years, too, with radicchio and beets complementing the fennel. It’s a super-easy and quick recipe, and one that looks beautiful, too; perfect for a post-holiday meal.
Even if you think you don’t like fennel, give this one a try. Or, you could just wait few years and see if your taste buds have matured by then. (Just kidding. I know your taste buds are perfectly mature already. And besides, the material on this blog is nothing if not 100% mature all the time–right?). 😉
Oh, and if you (still) don’t like fennel, you can always sub finely shredded cabbage instead.
Winter Greens with Fennel, Grapefruit and Beet
Some of my favorite winter veggies commingle in this refreshing medley of flavors and textures. Sweetness from the beet offer a perfect counterpoint to the juicy, slightly bitter grapefruit and crunch of both fennel and sunflower seeds. The greens add a foundation to it all; chard will remain crisp even after the salad has sat out for a while.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar (for Stage 2 on the ACD, use 1 Tbsp/15 ml apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
20 drops pure plain stevia liquid (or 1-2 tsp agave nectar in later stages of the ACD), or more, to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) freshly grated ginger root
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
4-5 large leaves Swiss chard, stems removed and finely shredded
6 cups (1.5 L) assorted baby greens (I like Italian mix, but any combination is good)
2 red grapefruits, peeled, pitted and sliced with thick inner membranes removed
1 medium fennel bulb, cut in half and finely sliced
1 medium beet, peeled and grated
1/3 cup (80 ml) lightly toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
Make the dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk all ingredients together and set aside for flavors to meld.
Make the salad: In a large salad bowl, toss together remaining ingredients except sunflower seeds and dill. Add dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and garnish with dill, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, yeast-free, vegan, low glycemic.
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